Kuwait’s Crude Oil Exports to China Surge 43.2 Percent

Source: KUNA 2/24/2012, Location: Middle East

Kuwait's crude oil exports to China surged 43.2 percent in January from a year earlier to 928,000 tons, equivalent to around 219,000 barrels per day (bpd), for the second straight month of growth, latest official data showed. Kuwait provided 4.0 percent of China's total crude oil imports, compared to a 3.9 percent share in the same month of last year and 3.0 percent in December, according to the Chinese General Administration of Customs.

China's overall imports of crude oil in January grew 7.4 percent year-on-year to 5.54 million bpd. Saudi Arabia remained China's top supplier with its shipments rising 14.3 percent from a year earlier to 1.14 million bpd, followed by Angola with 659,000 bpd, up 11.2 percent. Russia became third by overtaking Iran, with imports from the country jumping 202.9 percent to 584, 000 bpd.

The Kuwaiti Oil Minister said a number of foreign projects, namely in China, would see the light soon and benefit Kuwait's development ambitions. Kuwait will be the sole supplier of crude oil to a yet-to-be-built refinery and petrochemical complex in south China.

The project, consists of a 300,000 bpd refinery and a 1 million ton-per-year ethylene cracker, is part of Kuwait's aim of more than doubling crude exports to China to 500,000 bpd. Last month, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) Chief Executive Officer Farouk Al-Zanki visited Beijing to enhance corporation's relationship with major Chinese oil companies.

Since the establishment of KPC Beijing Representative Office in 2005, Chinese refiners have significantly increased crude purchase from Kuwait. Sales of Kuwaiti crude oil and petroleum products were just USD 400 million in 2004, but currently amount to more than USD 10 billion, driven by robust crude shipments. The Beijing office has also successfully developed new outlets for KPC products in the world's largest energy-consuming market, including naphtha, gas and sulfur.


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